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Qlik Unveils New Executive Team And Strategy

Qlik Unveils New Executive Team And Strategy

More than 18 months after its acquisition by a private equity firm, Qlik unveiled its new management team and strategy at its annual Qonnections conference in Orlando last week. The new executive team is focusing Qlik on its enterprise strengths, reinvigorating its partner channel, and reasserting the company’s industry leadership, all while continuing to innovate on the product front.

Much of the unveiling happened at a separate track for industry analysts who got dedicated time with the new executive team, including CEO Mike Capone, who took the helm four months ago.

Whither QlikView?

Capone wasted no time addressing a long-standing thorn in the side of many loyal Qlik customers—the demotion of QlikView to second-class status.

“There will be no more forced march to Qlik Sense,” Capone said. Qlik will continue to invest in QlikView, although most of the upgrades will come from enhancements to the Qlik engine, which is shared by both products. In turn, Qlik Sense will soon gain QlikView style authoring while QlikView will be included in Qlik’s hybrid cloud offerings.

Perhaps more importantly, Qlik customers who purchase Qlik Sense will also receive QlikView and vice versa, eliminating price friction between the two products. Licensing costs will not change, but maintenance will increase by less than 50% if customers activate both products.

Enterprise Strategy

The new team has spent the past several months rejiggering the company’s go-to-market strategy. It has decided to focus its sales force on the enterprise market, which aligns with the company’s core strengths. Rather than chase analyst seats and departmental business like its competitors Tableau and Alteryx, Qlik will use an account-based sales approach with its largest customers. This requires restructuring its salesforce and partner channel.

“We are focusing our salespeople on enterprise accounts, and getting out of the way of our partners for tens of thousands of other accounts and prospects,” said Capone. He added that Qlik is both reinvesting in its partners to make them more successful and pruning out partners who aren’t contributing. In some cases, Qlik is recruiting new partners who have the capabilities and regional coverage Qlik needs.

Technical Innovations

Qlik’s pace of innovation and product enhancements have not slowed since its acquisition. At the conference, Qlik demonstrated many new and soon-to-be-released product enhancements.

Qlik Core. Qlik Core, which is in beta, will enable developers to embed the Qlik engine in edge devices to support IoT use cases, among other things. Qlik Core, which doesn’t require a Qlik server to deploy, runs in Docker containers with Kubernetes, giving developers the ability to build and deploy custom analytic applications in a variety of devices and environments.

Cognitive Engine. Qlik also demonstrated how its cognitive engine will automate analytical tasks, enhancing ease of use and self-service. For instance, the cognitive engine will be at the heart of Qlik’s new Insight Advisor feature, which automatically renders charts based on user selections. The engine will also automate the creation of data models using pattern recognition features and perform root cause analysis.

Big Data Support.  With an in-memory engine at the core of its platform, Qlik has never been viewed a big data player. However, it is working on a big data index that runs against big data stores (S3, Hadoop, etc.) and leverages its associative engine. Without moving the data from its big data store, users will be able to query both summary data held in Qlik memory and detailed data via Qlik’s big data index. This should lift the cap on the volume and variety of data that Qlik users can query.

Multi-Cloud. Qlik continues to push into the cloud with a multi-cloud strategy which coordinates content spread across multiple on-premises and cloud environments, making it appear as one environment. In June, Qlik will ship a policy engine that will give customers the ability to determine where to distribute content for consumption. Subsequent releases will give users the ability to author and explore data in a self-service manner, no matter where the content is running.

Data Literacy. Finally, Qlik is investing in a data literacy campaign. It’s in the process of creating an industry consortium dedicated to helping organizations increase the data literacy of employees and identify the business value of data and analytics. The initiative will provide education, assessments, and certification.

Conclusion

Qlik would not be owned by a private equity vendor if it had not gone through a rough patch. The good news is that Qlik’s new owners and executive team are investing for the long-term. They have identified Qlik’s strengths and are building on them while eliminating self-made problems that were holding it back. By reinvigorating its partner network, restructuring its sales force, targeting developers as a new growth area, and demonstrating industry leadership by championing data literacy education, Qlik hopes to regain its footing as a BI and analytics leader.

Wayne Eckerson

Wayne Eckerson is an internationally recognized thought leader in the business intelligence and analytics field. He is a sought-after consultant and noted speaker who thinks critically, writes clearly and presents...

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